Thursday, August 10, 2006

Random Thoughts on Space and Asses

Another fax "too good to be true" offer came at the office today. Proclaiming some better-than-free trip to someplace that's way too hot to go in the summer. Usually they tout some penny stock that is destined to go up by 20%, from its price of eight cents. But this one was telling me I needed to go on vacation ... NOW!
"Hurry ... Space is Limited" it said.
That's truth in advertising. Space is always limited, no matter where you are - even in space. Besides, I'm not signing up for a trip to Jamaica in August, no matter how cheap it is. It's probably Jamaica, Long Island anyway. Either way, it's too stinking hot to go anyplace further south than Washington, D.C.
Which reminds me...
A "Presidential Bust" of U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton was unveiled on Wednesday at New York's Museum of Sex, where sculptor Daniel Edwards hopes it will spark discussion about sex, politics and celebrity. Edwards, the artist who also created a life-size nude of Britney Spears giving birth on a bear-skin rug, said he wanted to capture Clinton's age and femininity in the sculpture.
Well, Dan -- you failed, unless you were trying to get people to stop having sex because the lasting impression of women that will be formed in their minds is of a chicken-necked woman with no arms or nipples. Good job.
For more on the idea, skip to SpaceDog and see what a real artist thinks.
I'm wondering why any medical school graduate would want to go into proctology. I figure, at the end of the med school road there's a little meeting between the student and his advisor. Since not every student carries a high grade-point average, there must be some way to separate the good students from the not-so-good. The 4.0's go into surgery or some kind of high-end field while the lower-end ones have to take whatever openings exist. That's where proctology comes in:
ADVISOR: So, Mister ... I mean, Doctor ... we see from your transcript that you haven't exactly lived up to your potential here at Med School U.
STUDENT: Well, I did a little too much drinking. But, I was doing this paper...
ADVISOR: That's all well and good, but you know there are priorities, and the public isn't willing to accept your doctorial thesis on the effects of grain alcohol on the central nervous system as a viable reason why you carried a 2.5 GPA.
STUDENT: I know, and if I weren't in an alcohol-induced haze right now, I could probably conjure up a feasable argument, but as it is, I ... well, you know.
ADVISOR: I do. That's why you leave me with no choice.
STUDENT: Proctology?
ADVISOR: That's right. We both know it's the best decision. People won't trust anything but their ass to you at this point.
STUDENT: I understand, and I hope to someday restore the medical community's faith in me and will try to work my way up to ear, nose and throat.
ADVISOR: Make the best of it, and remember, asses need doctors too. And feet ... don't forget about the feet.

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Serenity Now!

An odd sense of accomplishment has washed over me, and I'm not sure how to deal with it, since accomplishments are not something to which I am accustomed.
For the past 8 years, I have been toiling away at Widener University in their Accounting program (a.k.a. Business Administration), and tonight I completed my final final exam in auditing, which completed my B.S. studies. I know, most of you already know I specialize in BS, but that's another story. Reading yesterday's spam e-mail's did nothing to deter my success in the exam, Carmen.
So, forgive me if I wallow ... but I'm feeling a strange sense of accomplishment. A little like my fictional pal George Costanza, who once proclaimed himself "Lord of the Idiots." If you believe, as I do, that life can be boiled down to a Seinfeld episode, that is how I define the last 8 years.
Now, while the New York marathon runs below the apartment window, I wear the fictional wedding band (BS in Accounting) while in reality, I am mired in the engineering field, where it is strangely ironic that I will soon hang my degree over my drafting desk as co-workers pass in bemusement. Meanwhile, like George, I can't get the phony wedding band off so that I can go out with the girl who has lifetime courtside passes to Knick games. Maybe you don't understand, but it makes perfect sense to me.
So, here I sit in my bachelor paradise, eating a block of cheese as big as my head as the Summer of Anthony comes to a close.
Fortunately, they have not yet killed Independent Anthony. Maybe Krueger Industrial Smoothing is hiring. Just don't ask me for my ATM code.
Cartwright four!

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Spam, Spam, Spam, Baked Beans, Spam, Spam and Spam

I am supposed to be studying for my final exam in auditing, but instead I became fixated on my Spam e-mails. Damn this blog! I never open them, you see, but a "Thursday Thirteen" post by amy aroused my curiosity.
My new e-mail pal Benni Muller sent me a nice note, proclaiming Good Evening in the subject line. How nice, I thought. Upon opening, the first line: What else should you do to make her happy? That was followed by a link, selling, of all things, prescription medication. At the very top was Cialis Soft Tabs, which I thought was a keen turn of a phrase. Close that one.
The body of the message looked a bit like an old Yes lyric:
Rice-grinding paradise apple canary grass
Un-Washingtonian stair-step jug-jug
orange peeler sodium arsphenamine stump speaking
light battery Lady eve registration county
Then, my new e-mail buddy K.C. Jackson sent a note, titled Mega Sail on Cines. I'm a sucker for a sail, especially a mega one. He then said, "Holla!", which I suppose is ghetto-speak or some religious greeting, and told me to Have a Satisfying Day! Thanks, buddy. More pill ads.
I received several from Customer Service telling me that all I had to do was confirm my e-mail address and I would receive a $1,000 Visa Gift Card. That sounded simple. Too simple. Besides, you already have my e-mail address. I'm no fool.
Eugenio Schaffer sent a note titled "collagen lip" (a good name for a band) and text that proclaimed: Super juicy pussies explode in ecstasy. See these bitches blow their loads 2 feet into the air. Bring your swim goggles you're going to need it to see through this wave. Holy cow - I don't even own swim goggles. That must be some wave! Pass.
I must admit, I do enjoy the poetry that comes with them. Another medication spam from Bernardine Tevis contained this thoughtful prose:
Yet the sun never set,
the light never changed,
the young man never stopped.
After a great period of time the water was almost gone.
I think they're wasting their time selling medication. They should send this stuff to the Reader's Digest. Nice one, Bernardine!
Finally, Dormgirl Amy writes to ask if I'd like to see her in her dorm room. Sure, Amy. I'll be at Widener tomorrow - but ... you forgot to tell me which room. Meanwhile, I'll write you a haiku:
As aged men find
their thoughts turn to young women,
they need Cialis.

My Dominoes Just Fell Down

While waiting for another call from my pal “Unknown”, I play a lot of Yahtzee on my cell phone, which doesn’t make it as much a cell phone as it does a $50 a month Yahtzee game. Nevertheless, when I get a moderately high score, the little man inside the screen tells me PLAYED LIKE A PRO! SUPER SCORE!, with the accompanying exclamation points. That’s ridiculous (I think quietly to myself) there aren’t any professional Yahtzee leagues … or are there? [rubbing chin ponderingly]…
But, as is often the case, whenever I think that something is ridiculous, all I have to do is flip on the TV and along comes something that makes my initial thought appear ridiculous by comparison. ESPN (the big “E” stands for Entertainment) has been showing The World Series of Darts and The World Series of Dominoes, while VH1 runs The World Series of Pop Culture on a continuing basis, which leads me to believe that Americans are so starved for entertainment that they will watch dominoes. As this fictional exchange points out:
Lewis Rothschild: People want leadership, Mr. President, and in the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership. They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand.
President Andrew Shepherd: Lewis, we've had presidents who were beloved, who couldn't find a coherent sentence with two hands and a flashlight. People don't drink the sand because they're thirsty. They drink the sand because they don't know the difference.
[dramatic thunder clap]
So, are they watching dominoes on TV because they don't know the difference? Or is it because, as George Costanza once pointed out, they watch "Because it's on TV"? Maybe it's that World Series tag? If it was the South Dakota Domino Challenge, how many people would watch? People from South Dakota probably wouldn't even bother, but maybe I give them too much credit. After all, what else happens in South Dakota? Don't tell me.
On Saturday, we were treated to a broadcast of the Johnsonville World Bratwurst Eating Championships, (also on ESPN - and a word short of a World Series) where 160-pound Takeru Kobayashi ate 58 Brats in ten minutes (which is more than I have eaten in my life) for $8,000 - or fifty cents a calorie. He is described as a competitive eater, which implies that it is how he earns his living - or at least some pocket money. I wonder how much sand he could drink?
Now, that's entertainment.
Big E.

Monday, August 7, 2006

Another Minor Setback

My first clue that something was wrong was when I saw the proclamation at the top of the box of Alpha Bits that they were a “Great Source of Whole Grain.” When I picked up the box at the supermarket, I wasn’t looking for whole grain as much as I was looking to re-live a little childhood memory. I wanted cereal like I had when I was a kid. One of my fond childhood memories was busting open a box of Alpha Bits, loading it up with sugar and milk and enjoying a great candy-flavored cereal experience. It doesn’t sound like much, but we didn’t have Play Station or VCRs, so the memories are more pedestrian. So, give me the cereal, please. They used to be sugar-sparkled ABCs – it said so on the box.
I chose to ignore whole grain reference. If I wanted a great source of whole grain, I would have bought Grape Nuts. No grapes – no nuts, but it does make a fine concrete patch. They should sell that stuff at Home Depot.
In addition to another exasperating shopping experience (which seems to be the norm, rather than the exception [right, KimmyK?], I was also disappointed yet again to find that what I remembered was not what I would get. Life is full of disappointments.
First, the term Alpha Bits implies that there is actually formed letter-shaped cereal included in the box. What I got was mostly “bits” and precious little “alpha’s”. Mostly, it looked like a few letters with a lot of punctuation marks. Commas, Semicolons and Quotation Marks Bits would be a more appropriate name. Right out of the chute, I figured I was in for disenchantment.
The taste test would prove me right. I could see that they weren’t of the same consistency as I remembered (hey, who remembers that?). They looked more like little formed Styrofoam shapes instead of crunchy cereal. It’s probably the grain. The reason is that they are not little crunchy cereal like they used to be, they are little squishy cereal, and they taste like Styrofoam, too. Styrofoam Bits. I won’t even get into the bland flavor, and I know that’s the grain.
Since I hate to throw food away, I suffered through the bowl, but I figure that I’m going to have to throw away what is left in the box. Maybe the squirrels will eat it? Just like the children today, they don’t remember what the original tasted like, so they won’t know they’re being screwed.
Once again, a fond memory of my youth will have to remain so. I guess it’s true, you can’t go home again, but I figured that corporate America wouldn’t let me down, but as is often the case, somewhere along the way, things changed. When it comes to my cereal, I don’t like change. I don’t always want whole grain. Sometimes a little grain and a lot of taste will do, but what I got was a metaphor for life. I wanted sugar sparkling and got packing peanuts. The gang at Post sold me a cheap imitation, but I’ll live with the disappointment.
Now I’ll think twice about trying the Apple Jacks.

Sunday, August 6, 2006

OK Go - Here It Goes Again

It's Sunday. Lighten up and watch 4 guys dancing on treadmills. OK Go.